The Jewish Eye
A Time for Change
A Time for Change
By Asher Keren
Gefen Publishing House: Jerusalem and New York, (2005)
Reviewed by Anna Dogole - March 15, 2006
Change is an inevitable part of life, but that does not mean that it is always welcome. If you are afraid of change, do not even attempt to read A Time for Change, by Asher Keren. Whether or not you agree with the material in this book, and whether or not you are religious, this book will change you. It will make you question many of your preconceived notions, your faith, and how you relate to other Jews. The questions raised in this book, by their very nature, are instruments of change, and you will be hard pressed to come away from this book without experience some degree of change in how you view yourself, your community, and all Jews from every walk of life.
In A Time for Change, Keren discusses the social trends and policies that affect both Israeli society and world Jewry as a whole, and how these trends more often than not serve to divide the greater Jewish community, rather than unify it. More important, he examines just how much, even in religious communities, that the ethics and moral actions of both religious and non-religious Jews tend to be more aligned with Christian dogma rather than authentic Jewish teachings. In examining these issues, Keren touches on a broach spectrum of issues from Homosexuality and polygamy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and modern science. He also scrutinizes how modern day 'political correctness' subjugates our nature inclinations.
In short, Keren touches upon just about every 'sore' subject that affects Jews today, and his discussion and analysis of these issues is bold, frank, and intended to strengthen the Jewish people by making people take an honest and thought-provoking look at their lives and the social and political issues that affect them. This is a book that you can either read straight through, or pick sections at random to read. Either way, you are sure to discover issues that will make you think about your Jewish identity, and hopefully strengthen it and you will find that this is a book that you will want to reread, and each time you do, you will find new details to ponder.
A Time for Change is a type of guide book, one that takes you on a tour of some of the common social trends and values. Keren then helps you to discover how these trends and values developed, what they really mean for you on a personal level, and what they mean for Israel and World Jewry as a whole. Most important, Keren does not claim that there is one right answer for every issue or every person. Rather, this book is meant to be thought provoking and to open your eyes to issues that are all around you but which you may have never noticed before. Once you read this book, you will be changed and you'll never look at the world the same way again, so be forewarned and do not read this book if you are not willing to be challenged, and changed!
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